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World’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat launched

Twin 2-MW BeHydro V12 dual-fuel internal combustion engines are designed to burn hydrogen in combination with traditional fuel. (Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH)

Posted on December 20, 2023

The Hydrotug 1, designed by CMB.Tech and said to be the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, has been officially launched and is ready for operation in the Antwerp, Belgium area, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB.TECH announced. The 30-meter, double-hull tug has 65-ton bollard pull and is powered by twin 2-MW BeHydro V12 dual-fuel internal combustion engines designed to burn hydrogen in combination with traditional fuel.

BeHydro is a joint venture between Anglo Belgian Corporation, a supplier of medium-speed engines rated 600 kW to 10.5 MW, and CMB.TECH, a shipping and cleantech company that builds, owns, operates and designs large marine and industrial applications that run on hydrogen and ammonia. The Hydrotug 1 is the first to use the BeHydro dual-fuel medium-speed engines incorporating the latest EU Stage V emissions aftertreatment. The tug can store 415 kg of compressed hydrogen in six stillages installed on deck. A Volvo Penta D8 MG Stage V engine is used to power auxiliaries.

The dual-fuel engines’ ability to use clean fuels results in an overall reduction of 65% of traditional fuel consumption and associated emissions in the tugboat’s overall cycle, the announcement stated. This will enable the tug to play a crucial role in the port’s efforts to green its fleet and achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“Port of Antwerp-Bruges nurtures the ambition to become the energy gateway of Europe as a ‘green port’ and as pioneers. Hydrogen plays an important role in this ambition,” said Annick De Ridder, vice mayor for the port, urban development, spatial planning and patrimony of the City of Antwerp, president of the Board of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. “The Hydrotug 1 can run on both hydrogen and traditional fuel, beautifully demonstrating the potential of the transition to clean energy in the shipping industry.”

As the world’s largest hydrogen-powered vessel, Alexander Saverys, CEO, CMB.TECH, said “the Hydrotug 1 is another big step towards zero-carbon shipping and proves that there is a vibrant energy transition industry in Antwerp, Belgium and Europe.”

Video Source: Port of Antwerp-Bruges


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